Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 14:06 UK

Sackings deal ends college strike

Tower Hamlets College
The strike began as new students enrolled on 28 August

Striking teachers have returned to work at an east London college after securing a deal to avoid sackings.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) began striking at Tower Hamlets College last month in protest at plans to cut 13 full-time jobs.

There will now be no compulsory redundancies at the college following 18 hours of talks with arbitration service Acas.

The college said it planned the cuts because its funding was reduced by £1m.

Teachers and lecturers began their strike on 28 August as new students enrolled at the college.

The UCU described the proposed cuts as a "huge overreaction".

But the college said they were in response to a £1m cut in Learning and Skills Council funding over the last three years.

'Vulnerable people'

On Friday the UCU's head of further education Barry Lovejoy said: "Tower Hamlets has the highest unemployment of any borough in the country and needs a strong local college."

"Staff do a fantastic job in working with some of the most vulnerable people in society and I am delighted that the threat of compulsory redundancies has been lifted."

Tower Hamlets College principal Michael Farley welcomed the end of the strike and "the return of all our teaching colleagues".

He said: "We need our talent back where it can make the biggest difference, serving our students.

"I am also pleased to announce that compulsory redundancies, that were at the centre of this trade dispute, have been successfully avoided through voluntary redundancy, successful appeals or offers of redeployment."

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